Melbourne is set for a scorching Christmas, with the mercury set to hit 35 on Christmas day and no cool change forecasted until after Wednesday.
As the temperature soars, it is easy to get caught up in the festivities and keeping yourself cool and it can be easy to forget your pet.
To guarantee both you and your pet remain cool over the heat wave, keep the following in mind:
- Ensure your pet has access to plenty of fresh, cool water, preferably multiple water containers. Try to keep the water inside or in the shade and add some ice blocks to keep it cooler for longer
- Don’t leave your pets food out in the heat. If you have to feed them outside, keep an eye on them while they eat. If they don’t eat their food straight away, consider refrigerating it and trying to give it to them later
- If possible, always bring your pet inside on hot days. This isn’t always an option, so, if your pet is outside ensure they have a cool, open, shady area
- If your pet has fair skin, it can be easily sunburnt. You can get special sunscreen that is safe for animals to protect them from the harsh sun which can cause sunburn and skin cancer
- Walk your pet early in the morning or late in the evening, when it is cooler and try to avoid walks on extremely hot days. Always remember, if the ground is too hot for your feet, it’s too hot for your pet’s paws
- If your pet seems to be uncomfortable, try dabbing some cool water on its feet or take it for a paddle in the closest beach, creek or river. You could even fill a small paddling pool with water, ensuring it is out of the sun, to let them splash around in
- If you’re not going to be home to check on your pet, ask a trustworthy neighbour, family member or friend
- Never leave your pet in the car alone, even with the windows down. If you see a pet in a locked car, call 000 immediately and report it to police
- Seek veterinary assistance if you have any concerns that your pet is showing signs of heatstroke, such as; excessive thirst, drooling or panting, vomiting or diarrhoea or if they are unusually lethargic